by Sharon Creech


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060540241
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/26/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 186,221
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Sharon Creech has written twenty-one books for young people and is published in over twenty languages. Her books have received awards in both the U.S. and abroad, including the Newbery Medal for Walk Two Moons, the Newbery Honor for The Wanderer, and Great Britain’s Carnegie Medal for Ruby Holler.

Before beginning her writing career, Sharon Creech taught English for fifteen years in England and Switzerland. She and her husband now live in Maine, “lured there by our grandchildren,” Creech says.



Pennington, New Jersey

Date of Birth:

July 29, 1945

Place of Birth:

Cleveland, Ohio


B.A., Hiram College, 1967; M.A., George Mason University, 1978

Read an Excerpt

Heartbeat MOBFootfalls

Thump-thump, thump-thump
bare feet hitting the grass
as I run run run
in the air and like the air
weaving through the trees
skimming over the ground

touching down
thump-thump, thump-thump
here and there
there and here
in the soft damp grass

thump-thump, thump-thump
knowing I could fly fly fly
but letting my feet
thump-thump, thump-thump

touch the earth

at least for now . . .

Heartbeat MOB. Copyright © by Sharon Creech. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Reading Group Guide

About the Book:

Twelve-year-old Annie loves to run. When she's barefoot and running, she can hear her heart beating.…thump-THUMP, thump-THUMP. It's a rhythm that's familiar when everything's shifting. Her mother is pregnant, her grandfather is aging, and her best friend, Max, is increasingly moody.

Everything is changing, even the apple Annie's been assigned to draw a hundred times. But running and drawing help her keep up with all of the different rhythms around her, and to find out where her own rhythms fit within them. Sharon Creech masterfully weaves this story, told in free verse, about a young girl finding her identity and learning how it fits in with the many rhythms of life.

Questions For Discussion:

  1. On page 3, Max says he is in training to escape. What do you think he wants to escape from? How will running help him achieve his goal?
  2. In the poem "Grandpa" on page 9, Annie's grandfather says he didn't want the trophy and that it was a silly thing. Why do you think he feels this way?
  3. Annie writes a poem about things she fears and things she loves on pages 32 through 36. Discuss her list and how you would change it to make it even more universal.
  4. Annie and Max have different views about running and what it means to be on a team. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being on a school team.
  5. Annie's grandfather is losing his memory and forgetting much of what happened to him in life. This concerns Annie, so she poses the question, "And if you forget is it as if it never happened?" (p. 43). How would you answer this question?
  6. A best friend is oftenhard to come by, but Annie knows Max is her friend. On page 50 she says, "…and I like this about Max that I do not have to explain." What makes this a likable characteristic?
  7. Annie feels fortunate to have her family, but Max thinks Annie is spoiled because she has two parents and a grandpa (p. 12). Why do Annie's and Max's attitudes toward family differ?
  8. Even though his mind is losing sharpness, Annie's grandfather helps her with her problems and builds a relationship with Max. What benefits do Annie and Max receive from the relationship? How do these relationship benefit Annie's grandfather?
  9. Annie not only learns a lot about herself, but she begins to understand the effect people and situations can have on a person; that every experience molds a person to be something. She asks Max, "Why are we here on this earth?" (p. 27) Do you think Annie discovers the answer to her question by the end of the book? Why or why not?
  10. Max and the girls' track coach are convinced Annie does not want to join the team because she is afraid, which is not the real reason. Based on her thoughts as revealed on pages 70 and 83, and on Grandpa's secret revealed on page 172, how would you explain her decision to them?
  11. Annie must deal with several major changes in a short period of time. Discuss ways in which Annie's life will change because of her new brother Joey?
  12. In the poem "Infinitely Joey" on page 158, Annie ponders the promise and uncertainty of life. How would you respond to her questions and thoughts? How do your views relate to her views? What would you add or take away from this poem?
  13. Annie considers the fact that she does not like to be wrong "a serious character flaw" (page 115). Do you agree with her? Why or why not?
  14. When Annie overhears other girls talking about Max and their feelings for him, she realizes that she is not ready to think of him "that way" (page 177). Why do you think she wants him "to stay Max my same moody Max" (page 178)?
  15. Annie's final drawing of her apple is a seed. What does this symbolize? How does it relate to the changes in her family?

Customer Reviews

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Heartbeat 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 137 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
In this poetic novel by acclaimed author Sharon Creech, Annie, a twelve-year-old girl, is trying to find out who she is. A lot happens in this short one-hundred-and-eighty-page book.

Annie's mother is pregnant, her grandfather is beginning to forget things, and her friend Max is extremely moody. Annie loves to run, and throughout the book there are "thump, thump, thump" lines where she can hear her heart beat in rhythm with her feet, which are running hard. Hence the title of the book.

In Annie's art class, the students are asked to take an apple and draw a picture of it for one hundred days. At the end of the project the students are to turn in one hundred drawings. There are poems in the book devoted to the one apple.

I love Ms. Creech's writing and admire her poetic style. The characters come alive as if you knew each one of them personally. I love reading books like that; they seem so real. HEARBEAT is a simple, fun, fast read.
Nicole Valli More than 1 year ago
Graceful Passionate And overall fantastic
Guest More than 1 year ago
Heartbeat is an amazing book you can really tell whats going on through the whole story and the characters are really descriptive. my favorite charecter would have too be annie, she is the main character and she tells you about this really nice boy named max and how they both like to run barefoot and also how her mom is having a baby and they cant find a room for the baby too stay in so her papa is saying that he wants to just kick the bucket( DIE )so the baby can have his room. and i just think that it is a very emotional story and i think everybody should read it because it is also very funny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Warm and heartfelt must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This unforgettable story of a girl who runs free with etch into your heart and stay there forever.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. Sharon Creech did a very good job. It's about a girl going through different changes through her life. YOU have to read it
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book Heartbeat was really easy to understand. Even though there wasn¿t that many words and not very much to the story the author still did a good job of really describing things in the book. I think the character in the story Annie is really sweet and is understanding. She is always there for her best friend Max through the good and the bad. She and her Grandpa both seem like they have a strong connection too. She is very helpful and kind to him. Also she doesn¿t seem like a person that complains a lot, she seems pretty laid back and easy to get a long with. She is always helping her neighbor Ms. Coober when she needs help cutting her grass and of course her pregnant Mother. Annie is always running, which is one thing I really like about her in this book. I think that whenever she is upset she just goes running barefoot outside and it brings her to this different world that she has. Annie sounds like a really great girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in my school lisbon falls maine and its a very good book you NEED TO READ IT NOW TAKE MY WORD 4 IT DO IT
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book befor at the begining of 4th grade but good book
nayeoneunicepark More than 1 year ago
i read this book at school in 5th grade because i was bored during indoor recess. when i started reading it, i couldnt take my eyes off this book! i was even late for lunch because i was so into this book! my teacher had to shake me!haha! THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book I am reviewing is Heartbeat written by Sharon Creech. I think this book deserves five stars because it is terrific and I enjoyed reading it. This book is about a girl whose name is Annie who likes to run barefoot with her best friend Max. Annie has a mom, who is pregnant, and a dad. Also, Annie has a forgetful grandpa. A problem that occurs in this book is that Max, joins the track team. He can¿t run barefoot, so he has to buy running sneakers. Max doesn¿t have enough money to buy the sneakers he wants. Also, Annie wants to buy colored pencils, markers, and special paper. Annie doesn¿t have enough money to buy the supplies she wants. I would recommend this book to girls. Other books by this author are Love That Dog, and Walk Two Moons.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tgis amazing book full of rythem is always going to be new and undesoved over each page. Tgoughts turned to feeling. Feeling turned to words. This book made me want to be more poetic than i already am. Be prepared to be amazed. Madness
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A spacious cave with room for several queens & their kits.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Best book eva!!!!!!!!!!"" A Very very very very good book u will never ever put it down!!!!!"!!!"""
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can feel every thing that happens to all the people in the story...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was looking for a quick read and luckily this book fit those expectations. It is a novel written in verse so i read it in about 3 days. This book was kind of slow paced & didnt really have that great of a plot. It could've been better. It wasn't terrible but it wasn't good hence why i rated it 3 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Students join right in ..thump, thump... and when the shades of meaning start oming together for them, there are a lot of 'ah ha' moments!,
KaylaPriester More than 1 year ago
This book is about Annie , a girl who loves to run barefoot and things that are happening like the birth of her sibling , her moody friend Max , and her forgetful grandfather. My favorite character was Annie because she loves to draw and run just like me. I liked this book because every chapter is in a form of a poem. You should read this book because it keeps you interested and it wont take you a really long time to read if you are a slow reader.
soccerchic7 More than 1 year ago
A great book but a fast read.... 8)
kels vaughn More than 1 year ago
I loved this b ook it was the best book i have ever read i read it for years ago and have read it 10 morep time a must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is my favorite of Sharon Creech's masterpieces. I have read almost all of her stories and this one was INSPIRATIONAL. I probably read this about 7 times through. I cannot get enough! Creech has this graceful way of writing that is just irresistible. I DEFINITELY recommend this book to readers of all kinds. I couldn't put it down!
avidreader000 More than 1 year ago
When I opened the first page to read and saw the style of writing the author used- I will admit, I was fairly hesitant. But as soon as I started READING, I couldn't stop! Don't be fooled! If you really love to read and have little distractions, you can read the book quickly: I read the book in 40 minutes. But the content in the book makes up for length. One of the best books Sharon Creech has written. Overall, amazing!
Alexis Lagerholm More than 1 year ago
i couldnt put it down but i knew i had to because if i kept going i would want to know what happens next and then end up finishing! great book for poetry! usually i wouldnt bother reading a poetry book but now thats changed thanks to this amazing book! :)
RonBMA More than 1 year ago
this book is a very good poetic way of writing about a girl and her new life with her new baby sister coming along. while she i having triuble with her best friend an runnning friend. i rate this book five out of five stars. i have read this book 19 times and never get bored of it whenever i read it over i find new things.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this book, there was a very good, strong storyline that was very straight forward and not very many distracting events. The main character of the story is 12 year old, Annie. Her mother is pregnant with an "alien" baby, her best friend max has mood swings, and to make matters worse, her grandfather is beginning to show the affects of aging. He begins to forget common things and some of the most major parts of his life. Annie finds relaxation in running, if it's just to clear her mind, or to think about things. The book is told through a series of poems. Words/Phrases often used are: "thump, thump, thump" which described the beat of her heart in sync with her feet, poems about the apple assignment in art class and how it has changed in the amount of time progressed, and poems about the "alien" baby even though it turns out to be not-so alien at all. I think the author chose the title- Heartbeat because when Annie ran, she would always try to get at the place where her heart and her feet were working together in harmony. Almost each time she would go on a run, the poems would use the phrase "thump, thump, thump" to describe her heart and feet's rhythm. I thought this book was very good and an easy read too. The story was strong and I LOVED the characters. It seemed they, for the most part, had their own distinguished personalities. I also am OBSESSED with the author, so I may be bias in saying that you need to read this book because it is ah-mazinggg! A.G.F.